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Bernos

Bernos is a brand with t-shirt designs based on Afrocentric themes. The Bernos team consists of four designers and business  people who are based in Washington, D.C. (with one of them actually based in Philly), coming together to create a brand that highlights the rich culture of Africa. I interview Nowali Petros of Bernos, to get more info on the company.

bernos

MC: What made you decide to start Bernos? How did you take the brand from concept to reality?

NP: When we started we were thinking that there was gap in our niche in the graphic tee market place. The Bernos team is composed of creative people in professional arena. We thought Bernos would be a creative outlet without the limits of client work. We would do art in the form of a tee that we would enjoy wearing. Its just nice there are other people that want our art.

MC: Is there a story behind every t-shirt design that you create, or are some of them just cool designs that people would wanna buy?

NP: We try to produce tees that are more than nice graphic image screen printed on a nice shirt. Visual designs are nice, but our aim in each and every one of our tees is to connect it to who we are. Even though we are now American, our roots are pure African.

MC: Out of all the t-shirts that you sell on your shop, which one is your favorite?

NP: Different people in Bernos like different concepts more than others. There is public consensus from our customers, that the ‘D’Afrique’ is very popular. The ‘Made in Africa’ t-shirt was recently featured on a music video by K’naan and after that we have been getting a lot of emails requesting reprint.

d'afrique made in africa

MC: What effective methods do you use to promote Bernos online? How do you promote Bernos offline?

NP: Different people in Bernos like different concepts more than others. There is public consensus from our customers, that the ‘D’Afrique’ is very popular. The ‘Made in Africa’ t-shirt was recently featured on a music video by K’naan and after that we have been getting a lot of emails requesting reprint.

MC: So, tell me about the whole ‘Landing Ethiopian Women’ article on your blog. What’s that all about?

NP: The Bernos blog is more open compared to other businesses that promote their business through blogs and online social media. Different topics are written on the blog by different authors and we keep it as open and uncensored as possible. This way it gives us a bigger platform to voice our opinions and promote our business.

MC: What are your future plans for Bernos? Where do you look to accomplish in the next three years?

NP: Our plan is two fold: We want to continue to grow our business brand online so that we can continue through our website. In the coming months we will be available in a few stores in Washington DC. We hope to expand to about a dozen stores in various major cities. Ultimately the plan is to build the Bernos brand and sell even more shirts.

MC: What’s the most important piece of advice that you can give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own clothing line?

NP: There are no rules that are bulletproof. I think the best way to approach any business to start with the smaller steps and continue to build on that. Some people approach a business from an extensive business plan and that helps but the business plan is a tool to make you aware of an over all goal not a map of steps to take. Be open to change try different things and persist.

Posted in Spotlight.